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vonDread
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 10:52 pm
Posts: 331
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:58 am 
 

So I rely on this site's reviews quite heavily to find new albums and bands to check out. But it can be hard sometimes because there doesn't seem to be a way to compile a list of search results for say, "the best-reviewed albums of 2013 with 4 or less reviews." The big ones are easy to find with something like the Empath thingy at furia.com, but I can't manipulate the parameters of that to look for albums with less reviews. I miss that Needle database thing. Is there a similar replacement anywhere out there, or is the furia one the best we've got?
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4918
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:32 pm 
 

The best way to find good, well-received music is not to rely on statistics, but to talk directly to people - on the forums or directly. Looking at statistics doesn't necessarily weed out the groups of largely-positive reviewers who crank out batches of reviews of whatever promos are sent to them. I also that you don't necessarily find the best music immediately - the stuff that gets attention immediately after release is the stuff pushed out by labels for impulse purchases and immediate reactions. It often takes a few years for bands outside of that machine to be noticed.

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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
Posts: 7699
Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:46 pm 
 

Yeah, the problem is that the fewer reviews you have, the further you get from the review average being anything close to representative. In my own wanderings through the archives, I've come across tons of bands that were very positively reviewed only to be let down, only later noticing the fact that their discographies were reviewed mainly by one person with, at best, questionable taste and at worst, questionable neutrality. On the other end of the spectrum there are really fantastic bands that only get mediocre scores because whoever reviewed it just isn't into that sort of stuff like you might be. Other than listening to stuff yourself and following Zodi's advice, another thing to do is just to get a feel for the reviewers themselves. Once you get a good idea of what certain reviewers like and what they don't like, it's much easier to read one of their reviews and get an idea of how much you might like the release they're reviewing, regardless of how they actually score it.
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vonDread
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 10:52 pm
Posts: 331
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:56 am 
 

Zodijackyl wrote:
The best way to find good, well-received music is not to rely on statistics, but to talk directly to people - on the forums or directly. Looking at statistics doesn't necessarily weed out the groups of largely-positive reviewers who crank out batches of reviews of whatever promos are sent to them. I also that you don't necessarily find the best music immediately - the stuff that gets attention immediately after release is the stuff pushed out by labels for impulse purchases and immediate reactions. It often takes a few years for bands outside of that machine to be noticed.


Didn't mean to imply that I don't get all of that, because I totally do. I'm looking for one particular way of finding well-reviewed albums that maybe only two or three people have reviewed. This is by no means the only way I look for new music, but I find it often results in unexpected and sometimes very pleasant surprises that lead me to checking out whole new bands I might not have found through other means. I loved that Needle database that would let you sort albums on this site by average score, and year (or genre or country or whatever else), number of reviews, all kinds of stuff. But it got taken down, and what's replaced it is still pretty good (you can easily find a list of the best-reviewed albums for each year), but it doesn't let you change any parameters unfortunately.
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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2270
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:59 am 
 

Hmm... perhaps we could contact sisters_of_merciless and see if perhaps he'd be willing to make a few adjustments to Empath, to make it more similar to its predecessor? I mean, I'd honestly love for another stat aggregate website as sprawling as The Discordance was, and unless I'm misunderstanding the limitations S_O_M is working with, it seems like Empath has the potential to be pretty damn close.
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Aeosphorus wrote:
there are post-black metal bands such as ...Sunn O.

When did we start calling Sunn O))) black metal and how soon can we stop?

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vonDread
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 10:52 pm
Posts: 331
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:11 am 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
I've come across tons of bands that were very positively reviewed only to be let down


I'm sure we all have, no matter how we each go about finding new music. It's just something that happens. This is where personal taste comes into play. I could find the most well-reviewed sludge album that everybody rants and raves about, but I know I'm not going to like it because I don't like that genre.

iamntbatman wrote:
Other than listening to stuff yourself


You're not implying that I don't do this, are you?

iamntbatman wrote:
another thing to do is just to get a feel for the reviewers themselves.


Already got that covered too. I'm sorry man, and I don't mean to offend, but a lot of what you're saying does sound a bit condescending to me. What I'm looking for is another tool in the toolbox. Something to compliment and support the other ways I have of finding new music, including perusing forums to see which albums people are talking about; checking out critics' year-end, best-of lists; looking at release schedules for bands I already know I like; etc., etc., etc. I apologize if I didn't make that clearer.
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vonDread
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 10:52 pm
Posts: 331
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:15 am 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
Hmm... perhaps we could contact sisters_of_merciless and see if perhaps he'd be willing to make a few adjustments to Empath, to make it more similar to its predecessor?


Cool, I guess I'll be doing that. I frickin' loved the Discordance. I've been missing it a lot because I couldn't believe what a fantastic tool is was for finding great new music. It saddens me no one's attempted anything as ambitious since it was taken down.
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Last edited by vonDread on Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
Posts: 7699
Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:18 am 
 

I didn't mean to be condescending at all, but you can read that into it if you want.
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lord_ghengis
Metal freak

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 5386
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:18 am 
 

Sadly as MutantClannfear said it is pretty much entirely the work of one dude who doesn't seem to touch the site much anymore, so it seems all we can do is hope.
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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2270
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:24 am 
 

I don't think sisters_of_merciless was ever that involved with the site, though; I mean, he's only got 150 or so posts, so I assume he just compiled those stats out of a love for stats rather than a love for MA in and of itself. His profile says his last visit here was June, but he has posts on the non-Empath-related part of his site from as recently as a month ago. It's got an email address right there, why not shoot him a message proposing he bring back a few more of the old stats?

Here's a forum thread detailing most of the data sets that people wanted to keep, if you want to give him some ideas of what to bring back: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=87551

I might send him one myself tomorrow, once it's not 2:30 AM.
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Wilytank wrote:
Aeosphorus wrote:
there are post-black metal bands such as ...Sunn O.

When did we start calling Sunn O))) black metal and how soon can we stop?

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vonDread
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2002 10:52 pm
Posts: 331
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:08 am 
 

Cool cool. Thanks guys. I'll probably shoot him an e-mail. If nothing else, I would totally be fine with him just adding the ability to change the number of reviews his Best Albums by Year or Best Albums by Genre lists account for. That alone would give people so many more bands to check out.
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whiteshark761
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:13 pm
Posts: 80
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:55 am 
 

I don't know if you use http://www.rateyourmusic.com, but I've found that to be a good way to find bands and albums I might not have otherwise noticed. Autothrall's lists alone should be enough to keep you busy for a while.

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sisters_of_merciless
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:33 pm
Posts: 151
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:32 am 
 

Hi, sorry, I still love MA and I've been keeping Empath updated periodically, but I haven't been actively monitoring this forum. I miss Needle and the Discordance, too, believe me.

Unfortunately, I can't afford to make Empath interactive like Needle was. Needle had a server farm and a whole dev/ops team behind it; Empath has me and a cheap personal web-hosting environment.

That said, when I get a chance I'll put some thought into whether I can feasibly generate some extra stuff with a lower review cutoff. My experience has been that the signal-to-noise ratio goes down rather sharply once the number of reviews gets below 4, but I know more techniques for dealing with that than I did when I started, so maybe I can figure out how to reach a little deeper now.

Also, although anybody who has checked posting dates on my blog probably already knows this, I now work on music-data analysis full time, at [url]the.echonest.com[/url], and although that work is not metal-specific, I certainly generate a lot of metal-related music-discovery stuff. So for another way to find music you may not already know, check out [url]everynoise.com[/url], my map of music genres, and click around the metal ones.

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